Nikko and Mt. Fuji Photo Tours is not just about taking photos. At Blain Harasymiw Photography, we know that a photo adventure in Japan also means understanding and learning about the native Japanese culture.
Japanese dogma has made “Zen” a familiar concept around the world; Japan’s aesthetics are inspirationally drawn from elements of nature and Zen Buddhist philosophies. The art of traditional Japanese gardens and architecture with their aesthetically pleasing and elegantly simple designs have inspired and fascinated generations of artisans. Our Mt. Fuji Photography workshop journey focuses on the ancient Japanese artisan's psyche while on the ancient Buddhist Shinto pilgrimage routes of sacred Nikko and Mt. Fuji territories, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Our photo tour-workshop begins in an ancient bamboo forest, to Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴) with camera in hand during the golden hour, then off to Nikko for our welcome dinner, and to enjoy the art of fine Japanese cuisine with a toast! Each evening during a Japan Photo Tour, we will take a moment to discuss our next day's photography so that you will be well prepared.
Before Nikko awakes, clients and I already have our camera gear setup at the perfect spot to capture the sacred Shinkyo bridge, the gateway to the Futarasan Jinja best viewed at first light. Nikko's Toshogu is Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine complex. The buildings are lacquered and decorated with vibrant colors, and the pillars and other structures are covered in a multitude of carvings. The carvings are not simply designed elements; they are expressions of spirituality (Reiju Holy Spiritual animals) as well as scholarly and philosophical-mystical beings. The Rinno-Ji Buddhist Temple founded in the 8th-century is both serene and mesmerizing.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikko encompass over 100 buildings and structures and for centuries together with their natural surrounding, have been a sacred site. They are closely associated with the history of ‘The Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu Samurai,’ and the Tokugawa Shoguns that followed. The shrines and temples contain both Shinto and Buddhist elements which are common throughout Japan; Blain and your photography workshop leaders are well versed with most of the religious iconography and is most happy to share their knowledge in what they love to photograph.
Kegon Waterfalls is one of the top 3 most picturesque waterfalls in Japan. From Akechidaira observatory you have access to the towering 97 meters (318 feet) of Kegon Falls along with the breathtaking view of Lake Chuzenji. During our photo tour workshop, we will visit various waterfalls, lakes, and places of natural beauty as we explore the Lake Chuzenji region, where we will escape off the beaten path.
Mt. Fuji has been worshipped as a sacred mountain for as long as humans have lived nearby and is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Originally, Fujisan was a sacred mountain for the Ainu, recognized by the government of Japan in 2018 as the First Nations people. The Fuji Five Lakes at the base of Mount Fuji are comprised of Yamanaka, Kawaguchi, Saiko, Shoji and Motsosu lakes. Over 95% of Japanese have never visited all the fuji five lakes; you will be among the few that have photographed and ambled the shores of all the fuji five lakes. And enjoy Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴) with camera in hand at the base of Mt. Fuji, while being able to photograph at the lesser known vantage points off the beaten track, thanks to your experienced local Mt. Photography workshop leader Blain who has lived and explored the region for over 22 year